Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned two officials from the Department of Energy (DOE), Jigar Shah, the Director of Loan Programs, and Teri L. Donaldson, the Inspector General about pay-to-play events and insider stock trading.
When Senator Hawley pressed Director Shah about the unethical nature of the pay-to-play events DOE officials attend and often speak at, the Director had no response.
"You're the Director of the loan programs for the federal government Department of Energy. People who want to get loans from the government are paying to see you and you think that that's fine?" asked Senator Hawley.
Director Shah went silent.
Biden DOE official acts like a deer in the headlights when I ask him about his pay-to-play speaking events pic.twitter.com/Vn7ANVEtxk— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 19, 2023
Let me get this straight. The director of a major government loan program is going to private events where industry insiders pay to get access to him to talk about loans … and that’s fine?— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 19, 2023
If this isn't an ethics violation, it should be. pic.twitter.com/6iChX68bJ2
Senator Hawley also called on Inspector General Donaldson to investigate the ethical lapses at the DOE, such as illegal stock trading by Department officials, in light of reports that hundreds of DOE officials hold stocks related to the agency's work.
"I am firmly of the view that we need to change the law here," said Senator Hawley. "Senior executive branch officials should not be able to own individual stock, nor should members of Congress. We shouldn't be stock trading."
Watch the full exchange here or below.